by Jan Lampen
Evan and Jean McGillivray were married on Friday, the 8th of July 1960 in the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg. Jean in a beautiful short dress made by her sister that raised a few eyebrows at the time. They met at a ‘Hamburger joint’ in Hillbrow where Evan was playing the double bass in a dance band. Jean was one of the top hairdressers in Johannesburg at the time and was planning a move to London to further her career.
For Evan it was love at first sight. Two weeks later he proposed and eight months later they were married.
Evan believes it was destiny that brought them together. And despite the normal up’s and down’s he simply refused to let the marriage fall apart. In Jean he found a real person with endearing qualities that completed him. Their partnership has grown and deepened over the years. From each other they’ve learned patience, compassion, trust and perseverance. Jean can’t think of a moment when they were not together and they are still inseparable. Evan is the first person Jean calls if she is in trouble. Without him she would not have found her Self.
The union produced three beautiful children in Greig, Paul and Kerry and as Evan now reflects: “We are not in this marriage for ourselves; we are here for our children and our grandchildren.”
Paul’s tragic death thirty years ago drew them closer. The fact that they were already members of The Christian Community and familiar with Anthroposophy helped them to deal with the loss.
“See you at six!” This is their family’s clarion call. At six ‘o clock every morning, Jean and Evan light a candle and invite Paul who would have been 54 this year, Greig (55), Kerry (45) and all their grandchildren in spirit to a circle for prayer and contemplation. This is the picture of a marriage that is special. Now Jean and Evan wait for something special in their grandchildren to unfold.
With lockdown, they’re not planning a big celebration and they’re not making much fuss about their achievement either. For them, sixty years is nothing. It is a way of Being. It is Life. And they would do it all over again.
Cards depicting poppies painted by Jeam McGillivray
Painting by Kerry Audouin
Abstract art by Kerry Audouin
Mosaics by Kerry Audouin
On Wednesday 17th June 2020, Alfred Bernhard Dörflinger, aka Freddy, died at 7:30 am at home in Basel, Switzerland.
He was born in Badisch-Rheinfelden, Germany on 18th February 1935, but spent a lot of his early childhood on the Swiss side until the war started.
As an only child he lost his father at the age of four and his Mother raised him on her own during WWII. They had moved to the German part of Rheinfelden and experienced the war there.
At the age of 14 (1949) he and his mother moved to Basel when she re-married.
Freddy completed an apprenticeship as a carpenter/joiner, and in the late 1950’s he went to the Sheiling Schools Ringwood, and then to Newton Dee in Aberdeen, to become a curative educator.
In 1962 he and Susanne married and were asked by Karl König to help with the unfolding Camphill work in South Africa, initially at Lake Farm Camphill Community in Port Elizabeth.
Their first son, Christoph was born there and was christened by Rev. Evelyn Capel-Derry.
In 1964 the family moved to the Dawn Farm Camphill School, Hermanus, where Piet, Markus and Andreas were born, and Freddy became a service holder, and in 1970 to Cresset House where Francis was born in 1971. In 1973 the family started work at Amethyst, nearby, which later, after further moves, and growing to a community of over 20 people, including children and young adults with special needs, became Novalis House, which is still there today, in Blue Hills, Kyalami.
In the mid-1990 Susanne & Freddy began to withdraw from the running of the place to concentrate on living with the elderly people in the newly added senior unit, but they still ran the workshops with the villagers and selling its products at the Bryanston Organic Market.
Susanne and Freddy were active members of all the anthroposophical initiatives in the area, as well as being Class Members. During the apartheid era they were actively supportive of the Waldorf Initiatives such as Inkanyezi Waldorf School and the Baobab Teachers Training (Klaartje Wijnberg, Truus Geraets, Carol and David Lignitzsky), which often made use of the Novalis House premises.
In 2004, while on holidays visiting family in Switzerland, Freddy suffered a heart attack. He recovered, but they never returned to Africa.
by Anne Gillham
The communities of Morgan Bay continue to be active during the Lockdown to support the needy. Michael Gillham offered technical support and helped to keep an event running that was planned for Youth Day, 16th June. He filmed the event and held interviews that will appear on the Facebook Page @Beat2Eat. A video of the event was posted on YouTube at https://bit.ly/Beat2Eat.
The description accompanying the video describes it as:
“The Morgan Bay/ Ingxarha village talking drums beat out on Tuesday 16th June in a passionate call for help.
“Whilst speeches were made across the land to commemorate the day, children from Ferndale school put words into action when they took part in a dawn to dusk drum marathon.
“The event took place beside the ocean in front of the Morgan Bay Hotel in a bid to raise funds for urgent food relief in a community that relies heavily on the tourist trade for its survival.
“The lockdown has had a devastating effect on the livelihood of all employment in the leisure industry as well as the many families who depend on tourism and whose income has dropped to zero.
“With support from the Morgan Bay Ratepayers Association Committee and elders from the community, the children took turns to sing, dance and beat drums in a colourful call for help - all the time observing the protocols of social distancing, hygiene, and the wearing of masks.
“As their teacher, Coleen Tshijila said: “The children are literally singing for their supper. They are the heartbeat of our community.”
“Co-ordinator of the project, Thembi Tshijila added: ‘Whilst our Youth Day celebration paid tribute to those who lost their lives 44 years ago, and our prayers went out to those whose lives have been lost in the troubles of the present, the children wanted to do more. They wanted to draw attention to the desperate situation much closer to home. They did not want to depend on the arrival of promised food parcels, but to go out and do something for themselves.’”
by Eva Knausenberger
I have tried for a long time to get a sense or an insight into the meaning of the words: "the new confession, the new faith", and also: "with these words godhead is given again to Man". Why in the Offering?
Last Sunday during the Service it was as if I heard a father speak to his son, whom he sends into the world: "Sick is the dwelling into which you, my own son enter...but through your word, your bearing, the human soul and all life will be healed". And I thought then, that God - in the words of the Act of Consecration- actually confesses anew His love for His creation, the human life and being, and I thought further that "the new faith" is, therefore, our only adequate answer to Him, who offered His substance, His Son to us.
The thoughts are comforting to me in today's world, where nothing much makes sense anymore, and we are verily all in this together.
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by Rev Reingard Knausenberger
Each month one of these world views will be expanded.
We often don’t realise that light is not visible. We see it reflected from objects, but by itself it is not visible. We see the moon, a planet, but there is no ray from the sun that shines on it. We can rationally prove that. The rationalist will show through experiments that light is invisible as a self-evident fact.
We also experience light as thoughts and even feelings, yet there is no experiment to prove this light. The only way to prove this inner light to oneself is to develop love for our thinking, not for the content of thinking, but for the activity of thinking itself. Then this activity can be brought into our feeling. In this way, what is at work in it becomes an experience, a perception of an invisible power which expresses itself as light and warmth simultaneously. So there is also invisible light of Spirit.
When Christ came after the Resurrection to his disciples through locked doors into the room, they experienced him as a light-being. He generated original light. But Thomas, the rationalist, wasn’t among them. He needed to prove it to himself: I can only believe if I touch him and see for myself. When he had that opportunity, he immediately had a self-evident experience: this is the One I know, he is my Lord and my God! It was a light experience of comprehension and uplifted enlightenment which encompassed him wholly.
Truth and reality were in symbiosis. Sensory impression and moral meaning were attuned to each other in such superior harmony, that it was a self-evident, self-generating quality: a moment of enlightenment from within.
In the language of Plato, one would say that Thomas encountered the radiant, creating reality of the Idea of the Human Being, in its highest form of being: this is God. Plato compares the Idea of the Good, the most elevated of Ideas, with the sun. Like the sun is the condition for life and seeing, so is the Idea of the Good the condition for existence and comprehension. The quality of Good is identical with God; a meaningful symbiosis which enables knowledge and truth. Seeking and testing the harmonious balance between the cosmic-earthly powers of the Good, both in the visible and invisible aspect, is the real domain of rationalism. It is noteworthy, that this is essentially about inner moral and ethical qualities, which relate in a meaningful, reason-able way to both an outer and an inner reality. Rationalism appeals to the responsibility of the individual to seek within oneself, inwardly, the invisible reality that lives in visible earthly appearance. ‘The Pharisees asked: when will the Kingdom of God come? He answers: the Kingdom of God does not come in an outer visible form. It also doesn’t come in such a way that one can say: look here or see there it is. Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you.’
(Lk. 17: 20…)
by Rev. Peter Holman
On 15th May Rev. Peter Holman wrote to his congregation: "As we reach the culmination of this extraordinary Easter time and move into the 10 days of Ascension I would like to share some thoughts that will hopefully be helpful as we grapple this year with how to come to terms with the reality of abnormal times for religious worship. These thoughts should serve to deepen a little more our insights into how we can make the receiving of Holy Communion ever more real. This is partly for the remaining weeks of closed churches, and especially for the time when we be able to come to church again, but, for a while, without receiving physical communion. I shall explore ways in which we can all participate more powerfully in the reality of Christ in us, receiving His Body and Blood as medicine that makes whole."
He asks the question: "But how will it be to sit there, without being allowed to come forward to receive Holy Communion?"
In an eight-page letter, Rev. Peter Holman deepens our understanding of the Holy Communion and how we can participate in reality even when we cannot physically receive the transubstantiated bread and wine. The full letter can be read by clicking here.
by John-Peter Gernaat
The period of lockdown experienced in South Africa has induced the community to think of other ways of connecting around the experience of the contemplations that our priests in South Africa have provided to their respective congregation and have been shared with us all. There have been other gatherings that are of importance to our religious life that had to find a new way of taking place. The monthly Reading for Those Who Have Died being one.
The lockdown started on the eve of the scheduled monthly Reading for Those Who Have Died in March. A decision was immediately taken to attempt to hold this important gathering on the online platform Zoom. The format of the gathering is to come together and with the ringing of a bell and the lighting of a candle clearly announce our intention. In the first Zoom gathering, a number of technicalities had to be ironed out before we could focus our attention and intention to our purpose. Each person lit their personal candle and express their own intention and a bell was improvised.
The initial impetus came from Susan Goslett to arrange a Community Gathering on Zoom during Holy Week as a way to help land the experience of connecting at a distance with the Act of Consecration of Man. These gatherings were held an hour after the Act of Consecration of Man commenced and used a format that has been well established in our Community Gatherings when our priest has been absent on a Sunday. Each person lights their own candle and then one person reads the Gospel Reading of the day/week; someone else reads the contemplation provided by a priest; we open the time to share thoughts on the Reading and the Contemplation; someone reads the Creed and we all say the Lord's Prayer together and we then open to a general conversation.
These Gatherings have accompanied the Services in Holy Week, Easter and the weeks following Easter into Ascension and will continue through Whitsun after which Sunday Services will resume. We have continued the Reading for Those Who Have Died online in April and May and Reingard shared the Ascension Epistle, which is seldom heard by the whole congregation because the festival is so short, in a Zoom gathering. We have been joined in these online gatherings by members of our community from as far afield as Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Morgan Bay. The older members of our community have found ways of engaging with this new technology through grandchildren or neighbours to join in the online meetings.
A realisation is emerging that there is great value in connecting with our scattered community using technology and it has a way of uniting us around a common purpose and enables us to share thoughts that we would otherwise never hear when we limit ourselves to in-person gatherings. As lockdown is being eased in South Africa and in-person services resume the use of new technologies will continue to be used to connect our community and retain the sense of gathering as a community for the renewal of the religious life.
When I received notification that one person in our community had achieved something worth sharing, I began to wonder what other people in our community had been up to during lockdown stages 5 and 4. In the following blog posts are the stories that have been shared. Editor
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